Crouching Alien, Hidden Shoebox
On the top floor of the Homeland Security Building, Anna Naranja and Langhorne Atherholt were keeping watch just outside the lab, as Lunchbox and Fritz were feverishly working on Fritz’s chemical weapon.
Anna and Langhorne finally had some alone time to discuss their shared near-death experience.
“I really thought that was it,” Anna confessed.
“I did too; It got me thinking.”
“Anna, the world is getting insane. Well, more insane. First aliens, then zombies, and now vampires.”
“Yeah, I doubt anything would shock me anymore.”
“What?” Anna asked in shock.
“Lang… I don’t know what to say.”
“We shouldn’t overreact to almost dying.”
“I’m not; I should’ve asked you months ago. I wanted to. Hell, I bought a ring and everything.”
“Are you serious? Why didn’t you?”
“Well we were deep into season 4 of Game of Thrones and it never seemed like the right time.”
Anna slapped Langhorne’s shoulder and smiled. “Stupid.” He always knew how to make her laugh.
“I love you, Anna. I really do, even more than Game of Thrones.”
“Wow,” she said with a smile. “That much?”
“I do, so marry me. We don’t need an actual wedding. Who’d come to a wedding during an apocalypse anyway? We just need to say the words. We can do it right here. Right now.”
Anna threw her arms around him, “Oh Langhorne…”
“I love you, Anna.”
“We love you too,” she said.
Anna took his hand and guided it to her stomach. “Yes. We.”
“Oh I think you know how.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I found out the morning before the Inkaku arrived. I didn’t want to…”
“No, I get it; I totally get it. I’m just… Wow. How can I be so excited when the world is falling apart around us?”
“You are happy though?”
“Yes, I am. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Oh, Anna… We’re having a baby!”
Suddenly, the doors to the lab flew open, nearly knocking the two over and definitely ruining the moment.
“We did it,” Doctor Rommel shouted. “We fucking did it! -Oh, what’s that now? I’m sorry, were you two making out or something?”
“It’s fine, Fritz. What did you do?” Langhorne asked as he wiped the tears from his eyes.
“I got the formula just right and I have tested it. It will kill the Inkaku on contact; I’m about 66.6 percent sure of it.”
“That’s a disturbing percentage,” Anna said.
“And it won’t hurt humans?” Langhorne asked.
“Fritz, whatever happened to, ‘It won’t hurt humans at all?'”
“I was wrong, but it’s not that bad. There’s just a bit of a side effect associated with it.”
“Like?” Anna asked.
“It may give you violent diarrhea.”
“Oh yeah, not bad at all,” Anna said.
“There’s just a small chance. Most people won’t even notice.”
“So we’re good here?” Lunchbox asked as he walked out carrying a metal briefcase.
Langhorne looked down at the case. “Is that it?”
Lunchbox opened the case. It was lined with thick foam, except for a dozen slots to insert vials. Only two of those slots were filled.
“That’s it? That’s all of it?” Langhorne asked.
“Yep,” Lunchbox said. “Gotta make ’em count.”
Fritz pushed his horn-rimmed glasses up with his forefinger. “Let’s get these to the President.”
“We’re not going,” Langhorne said, as Fritz and Lunchbox turned to leave. His hand holding Anna’s tightly.
“We’re not?” Anna asked.
“I’m sorry guys; I really am. Anna is pregnant. I need to get her away from all this.”
“Where are we gonna go that’s safe, Lang?”
Anna just stared at him. Lunchbox and Fritz too.
“Okay, safer. Kinda. At least there are no aliens there.”
“What about us?” Fritz asked. “What about saving the world?”
“Oh I’ll get you to the President,” Lunchbox said. “You don’t need to worry about that. I’ve been trained in Krav Maga and I know my way around a pistol.”
“Well you had me until you called it a ‘pistol’,” Fritz responded nervously.
“Go,” Lunchbox told Anna and Langhorne. “I’ll see to it that these get to the President, regardless if Fritz makes it or not.”
“Not helping! Not helping at all,” Fritz cried.
Langhorne walked over to them. “Thank you.”
“Get out of here you two and go take care of that baby. Remember, Stanley is a great name.”
“Yeah, not naming my baby that,” Langhorne laughed.
Anna hugged Lunchbox the best she could. He was nearly as wide as he was tall.
“Maybe his middle name,” she said to him. “Maybe.”
Eastwood, Katie, Tad, Rose and Apollo Greyskull were making their way to Shoe Carnival to meet up with the others. They could’ve used the now collapsed tunnels to pass safely to Shoe Carnival, if the White House wasn’t leveled in the bombing, but now they had to zig-zag through the streets and avoid any Inkaku along the way.
“I’ll bet Shoe Carnival is the only store in a twenty mile radius that hasn’t been looted,” Eastwood said.
“I just hope my brother is okay,” Tad said for the uptenth time since they headed out.
Tad caught a flash out of the corner of his eye. He looked up to see a dirty man, probably in his late sixties carrying an RPG and jumping from roof top to roof top, like a character right out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He quickly vanished out of sight. “Did you guys just see that?”
“See what?” Rose asked.
“There was an old dude carrying a bazooka, who was jumping from rooftop to rooftop. He looked like a dirty Jason Bourne.”
The group stared at him in disbelief. “I saw him; I swear.”
“I think the stress of the world ending is finally getting to you,” Apollo said.
Tad pouted. Rose took his hand. “I believe you Tad.”
Tad lit up like a ten dollar hooker in Vegas.
“I hate to break this Taster’s Choice moment up, but we’ve got company,” Eastwood said.
Six aliens were just up ahead by a Chipotle. Katie felt a twinge of sadness, because it was the same Chipotle that they found the poo in and put in shoeboxes. It reminded her of Darryl number one’s death. She felt like it was her fault that he died, probably because it was her fault that he died.
“What are they doing?” Tad asked. The six aliens had seen the group, but instead of attacking them; they were hunched over, clutching their stomachs.
“OMG, they must have eaten there,” Eastwood said.
“Oh, bad move,” Rose said.
The aliens had eaten at Chipotle about half an hour ago. They were curious about Earth food and wanted to see how it tasted. Unbeknownst to them, they had picked one of the worse possible “restaurants” to try. The other being DC Weiners. The only real difference between the two, was that one made it difficult to keep it in and the other made it hard to get it out. The pain in their stomachs all kicked in at about the same time. They had each been taking turns running to the bathroom, because it was coming out at both ends.
The group didn’t have the heart to shoot them; they just passed by them and when Katie was just about to clear the last one, he projectile vomited all over her shirt.
“Oh! That is disgusting,” she whimpered.
“At least it came out of that end,” Tad said in a failed attempt to console her.
The alien said, “vRiippe jbridges,” which translated into, “Sorry dude.” Katie got the gist of it and just nodded her head.
“That smells so nasty,” Rose said. “Like tiny burnt sausages, smothered in cheese and motor oil.”
“More like stale beer and semen, filtered through a gym sock,” Tad said.
“How do you know what that smells like?” Eastwood asked.
“No, I’ve smelled something like that before during an autopsy, and that guy died after winning a hotdog eating competition,” Apollo told them.
“Wow. What is your life?” Rose asked Apollo.
“Oh Kanye… I think I’m gonna hurl. I really wish I had a shirt to change into,” Katie said.
Apollo produced some t-shirts from his backpack. “Try one of these. I found a couple shirts at the sex dungeon, and thought they might come in handy if we needed to strip them for bandages or, you know, if we came across a situation such as this.”
“Or for toilet paper,” Tad added needlessly. For some reason, that’s what popped into his head when he saw old shirts.
Katie removed her soiled blouse and gratefully put on one of the shirts. Nobody peeked at her in her bra, because nobody wanted to see that. Some of the aliens noticed the event and started vomiting again. When she was done, the group looked at the shirt and erupted with laughter.
“What’s so funny?” She asked and looked down at her shirt which said, Me So Horny and had a picture of a floppy purple dildo on it. Me So Horny was an adult erotica store, ironically right next to the Shoe Carnival. Actually, all three locations were convenient to a Shoe Carnival.
To make matters worse, the shirt was also one of those open-sided, sleeveless numbers that was a big hit with breakdancers back in the eighties; and she spilled out of it easily.
“What’s on the other one?” Katie asked in hopes of upgrading.
Apollo held the other shirt up for her to see. It was a sensible shirt with a picture of Bob Dole on it and the words Don’t blame me, I voted for Dole.
“I’ll just stick with this one,” she said.
“Wow,” said Tad. “I sorta want to meet the fat bastard these shirts belong to, but at the same time; the idea scares me.”
“Alright, let’s keep moving,” Eastwood said. “We’re just a couple blocks away from Shoe Carnival now.”
“I hope my brother is okay,” Tad mentioned yet again.
“I kinda hope he doesn’t make it,” Eastwood said quietly to Apollo.
“Oh look,” Katie said to Rose, as she directed her attention to the corner of Chipotle. “It’s your shoe box!”
“Don’t you fucking touch that,” Rose said.